In Process and Poured Out

About four years ago, I bought some colorful thread at Goodwill. (If you keep reading this blog for any length of time, you’ll see that Goodwill makes a fairly frequent appearance.) I had a vision for this purchase to be used in some meaningful way–but I didn’t know what that was.

74 cent box of thread bought at Goodwill
74 cent box of thread bought at Goodwill

First, I gave the thread kit to Mama, the consummate seamstress, quilter, and tailor in our family. But she got a brand-new, high-tech sewing machine and needed to use only new thread. Later I asked to get the thread back–because I’d landed on a purpose for it and wanted to put it to use.

Before moving to Orlando, I read an article about My Brother’s Keeper Quilt Group, which provides sleeping bag quilts to the homeless. They request quilt tops from volunteers to help with their work. So I recruited my mother to help me make a quilt top (no quilting required) and asked for her to contribute pieces from her fabric stash to do so.

Pins. I love the happy colors.
Pins. I love the happy colors.

In about a week, we’d put together a 7 ft. by 7 ft. quilt top featuring everything from gold corduroy to a bright Animaniacs print. (Remember them?) With my minimal sewing skills–and the need for help when using a sewing machine–I felt proud of the accomplishment.

After this, I didn’t consider making another quilt top until the end of 2013. For my birthday in early 2014, I’d asked for more fabric scraps from Mama to make another quilt top. Only this time I would make it by hand, using the thread bought years earlier at Goodwill.

The quilt top made last summer, spread out on my bed.

I used a great deal of thread, the quilt top took shape, and then I hemmed the edges with a borrowed sewing machine.

Quilt top from 2014 for My Brother's Keeper Quilt Group
Quilt top from 2014 for My Brother’s Keeper Quilt Group–my boys wanted this to be a “crazy” shot. I wasn’t on board.

Afterwards, I still had thread left in that cracked, plastic little box. So since it wasn’t yet used up–and I’d enjoyed the simple sewing–I asked for more fabric pieces. Once again, Mama shared her excess with me for my birthday this year. I got down to business.

The thread box today.
The thread box today.

The sewing project this year is not yet finished. It’s still in process, still taking shape. Still being formed into the object it was intended to be, to serve the purpose it’s being created to serve.

New quilt top in process...a bit of a mess.
New quilt top in process…a bit of a mess.

Like me. Created by God to serve a purpose, still being formed into the finished product. In the New Testament, Philippians 1:6 assures those who follow Jesus that God will finish the “good work” that He started in us. I’m counting on it.

Quilt top in process:  Look closely and you can see the pins.
Quilt top in process: Look closely and you can see the pins.

And my thread? This is the “after” picture. It’s spent. This thread box has hardly anything left to give, but I’ll use it until it’s used up.


Me, too. I want to be poured out, invested in a purpose, my resources used for good. In Isaiah 58:10, God tells His people that, if they spend themselves on behalf of the hungry and the oppressed, their light will shine. (Don’t take my word for it, though; have a read yourself.)

One day my thread will be gone–but not gone. Instead? Used up and used well. Hopefully, me, too.


4 thoughts on “In Process and Poured Out

  1. I love this analogy Allison! And, it makes it even more special that the project spanned the generations. Congrats on the sewing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s